Alcatel-Lucent has signed a turn-key contract with an international consortium of telecoms companies to deploy the West African Cable System (WACS). Under the terms of the agreement, reportedly worth USD600 million, the equipment maker will provide expanded broadband connectivity between South Africa and Portugal with capacity of 3.84Tbps. The 14,000km submarine cable will run from Cape Town to the UK with landings in Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands and Portugal. Construction is scheduled for completion by 2011.
The WACS consortium comprises eleven companies that signed the WACS Construction and Maintenance Agreement: Angola Telecom, UK-based Cable & Wireless, Portugal Telecom, SOTELCO (Congo), Telecom Namibia, Togo Telecom, India’s Tata Communications and four South African firms – Broadband Infraco, Telkom SA, MTN and Vodacom.